Has it been two months already? I wish I was sitting down to write a happy post about the fun experiences we've had during our first two months in Bolivia. Maybe I'll get around to writing that post, but this one is a bit more somber.
On October 20 (last Sunday), a presidential election was held in Bolivia. It was a peaceful day and we were hoping that the following weeks and months would continue to be peaceful. But that has not been the case. Over the last week there have been protests in the major cities, including ours. The demonstrators are protesting due to accusations of election fraud—among broader issues. The president (who has claimed victory for a fourth term) is accusing the protesters of racism against the indigenous people who live in the rural parts of Bolivia. All of the major roads in our city have been blocked, and violence has begun to break out amidst increasing tension between the two sides. Most recently, the president and his supporters have threatened to cut off the food supplies of cities that continue to dispute his victory in the election. Rather than making concessions, it seems that both sides are digging in their heels and preparing for a prolonged fight.
As I wrote in my last post, we knew that we would face some difficult times, but we didn't anticipate them coming so soon. At this point we feel that we are safe, and we have enough provisions to last for a while—hopefully until things settle down. But, then again, there is no guarantee that the situation will get better before it gets worse.
This morning I read the following passage from 1 Timothy: "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." We know that God is sovereign, and no one comes to possess power and authority on earth apart from His will. Please join us as we pray for the leadership of Bolivia, that the Lord's will would be done, and that people would ultimately come to know Jesus through the turmoil in our city and in this country.
We also appreciate your prayers for our family. We have been mostly confined to our house for the past week, and it looks like this week will be more of the same. We have been unable to attend language classes, and with limited language it's difficult to have significant interactions with our neighbors (not to mention they are usually behind locked gates). Please pray for wisdom during this time, and that we would find peace and rest in the Lord. Pray that He would use this time to mold and shape us, and to increase our dependence on Him as our provider and protector.
Finally, please pray with us for peace in Bolivia. In times like this I'm reminded to look forward to the day when the Prince of Peace returns to establish his reign. Until then we pray that His peace would reign in the hearts of those who call him Lord, and that this peace would extend to the world around us.